This Banana Pudding is the perfect dessert recipe to bring to your next barbecue or potluck. Easy to prepare, delicious and just like grandma used to make!
Banana pudding is a classic potluck recipe and summer recipe staple. Rich creamy banana flavor with nilla wafers and whipped cream is nostalgia that cannot be beat.
What is Banana Pudding?
It is is a dessert made with layers of sweet custard (vanilla or banana flavored) vanilla cookies and sliced fresh bananas. It is typically topped with whipped cream or meringue.
It is a popular dessert in the United States, commonly found at barbecues and church potlucks, especially in the south.
Banana Pudding Ingredients
- Nilla Wafers – Or similar vanilla cookies, you don’t have to use name brand for this. We have also used ladyfingers, biscotti, and crumbled cupcake in the past with great success.
- Banana Cream Pudding – It amazes me how many people make this recipe with vanilla pudding. Why, why whyyyy? Definitely use banana pudding for an intense and delicious banana flavor. But if you must, vanilla pudding will work too.
- Bananas – Make sure they’re nice and ripe for best results. But not so ripe as you would need for banana bread!
- Whipped topping – I like to use Cool Whip (or the store brand version), you could also make your own whipped cream, but make sure it’s stabilized so it doesn’t get runny.
How Do You Make Banana Pudding
⭐ First, spread wafers in along bottom of casserole dish in a single layer. If you like a heavier layer of cookies, try crushing them first for a more even result.
⭐ Next, place layer of cut bananas over the wafers, and also upright around the edges of the glass pan.
⭐ Then, cover bananas with prepared pudding and then whipped topping. Garnish with extra banana slices.
⭐ Finally, chill until ready to serve.
Will Bananas Turn Brown in Pudding?
Sliced bananas will begin to brown as soon as they are exposed to air, so yes bananas will turn brown in pudding. To keep your bananas from turning brown too fast, you will want to limit their exposure to air. We have included some easy ways to limit or stall the browning below:
Tips for Keeping Your Bananas from Turning Brown in the Pudding
- Slice them immediately before adding to the dessert.
- Swipe with lemon juice after cutting.
- Cover the slices completely with the custard quickly after layering the bananas into the dish.
- Cut and add your garnish banana slices right before serving.
Preparation and Serving
Can You Make Banana Pudding Ahead of Time?
You can make it up to a day in advance, in fact, some would argue that it’s even better if you make it a full day in advance because it gives the cookies at the bottom a chance to get soft and absorb all the delicious flavor.
Any more than a day in advance and your bananas may brown too much and the pudding could get runny.
Is Banana Pudding Served Cold or Hot?
Traditional southern banana pudding is served warm with a toasted meringue on top. The more widespread version served throughout the U.S. (shown here) is served cold with whipped cream on top.
It all comes down to a matter of preference and what you grew up with. I am team cold + whipped cream. What are you??
How Long Can Banana Pudding be Left Out?
It should be left out for no more than two hours. This recipe is frequently served at parties, so it’s important to know how long it can safely sit out. According to the USDA two hours is the absolute maximum amount of time food can safely sit at room temperature. After two hours food enters what is referred to as the “danger zone.” (Cue Top Gun theme song).
Make sure if the pudding is in an environment warmer than room temperature (like outside at a BBQ), that it is returned to refrigeration sooner than two hours. Food enters the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F. In this range of temperatures, bacteria grows quickly and the food can become unsafe to eat.
Leftovers and Storage
How Long Does Banana Pudding Last in the Fridge?
Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for about three days. After that the custard can begin to break down and be watery and unappetizing. This time frame will vary some
Can Banana Pudding Be Frozen?
Banana pudding should not be frozen. It is an easy recipe to put together and can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. If you need a great dessert recipe that can be frozen or made longer in advance, try our easy ice box cake!
What to Serve with Banana Pudding
More Delicious Banana Recipes
More Easy Dessert Recipes
- Two Ingredient Lemon Mousse
- Cookies and Cream Fudge
- Nutella Cookies
- Icebox Cake Recipe
- Chocolate Ganache
- Best Lemon Bars
- Santuko knife – My favorite knife for cutting vegetables! This knife is the perfect size and shape, handles great, and is super reasonably priced. Also, I just love that it’s fun and colorful!
- Electric mixer – I love love love love love (x’s 100) my stand mixer. Really and truly. But my daily work horse is this handheld electric mixer. It even comes in allll the colors. Which, yay!
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How to Make Banana Pudding
- 1 package Nilla wafers
- 3 3.4 ounce packages banana cream pudding mix prepared per package directions
- 2 - 3 ripe bananas sliced
- 2 - 3 cups whipped topping
- Spread wafers in along bottom of casserole dish in a single layer (we used a 9x13" dish). If you like a heavier layer of cookies, try crushing them first for a more even result.
- Place layer of cut bananas over the wafers, and also upright around the edges of the glass pan.
- Cover bananas with prepared pudding and then whipped topping. Garnish with extra banana slices.
- Chill until ready to serve (ideally at least 3 hours, but up to 24 hours).
I bet you’d also like our no churn pumpkin ice cream!